Sunday, July 3, 2011

Keyes Peak 50k 2011

Jodie Taylor's Race Report...  The trip to Keyes Peak was a blast. It was time well spent with great people. The race itself was different than expected. I'm not an experienced Ultra runner, this was my 3rd race and from what I have learned and experienced over the past few months, this felt more like a road marathon.

We started the race with the marathoners and the pace was fast. It was easy to get sucked into the flow. Runners barely stopped at the aid stations. There were only water, electrolyte drinks and shot bloks at the aid stations, however the volunteers were super friendly and helpful. Jose was so hungry that one of the volunteers gave him his own stash of food! A lot of the marathoners I ran with said this was their first trail race. It was interesting to hear their point of view. Most of the race was run on ATV trails. The notorious 60 yard river crossing was cancelled due to the water level being too high from all of the rain the previous week. The river was moving very swiftly. The river guide said it was over his head, I commented that I'd probably get swept away, his answer was "yeah, you'd get swept away."

Thus, what was going to be a 50k loop, turned into an out and back race. We did have a small stream to cross, which on my way back, I decided to swim in it to get my river crossing in and to rinse off the mud from falling in a giant mud puddle. But somehow, I ended up not rinsing any of the mud off of me. It was a fast course due to few hills. I did win a bottle of home-made Wisconsin maple syrup, yummy! Todd won syrup and 8 ticks! We ate it for breakfast the next morning. Well, we made pancakes too. Sunday morning, Jose did all of the cooking for the group. We stayed in a beautiful cottage on Sea Lion Lake. And after the race, we all jumped in the cool water to refresh our legs. And after, after, we ate two dinners and birthday cake to celebrate Jose's and Todd's Birthdays!!!

 If you're a road runner and want to try a trail run, this is a gentle place to start. If you're an experienced trail runner and want a fast course, you'll get a fast time here. If you want amazing trails in the woods,…maybe next year if the river crossing is open you will find those trails on the other side, we don't know, since we didn't get to the other side.
Overall, the weekend was a blast! Thanks everyone (Marcel, Jose, Marty, Todd and Adam) for a great weekend!

Adam Sullivan's Race Report...

Dude where’s my single track?!?  This is pretty much what was running through my head for the first 13 miles of the Keyes Peak 50k.  That and “I’m running too fast” (more on this later).

The race was supposed to be a loop course with a chest deep river crossing at mile 23.  But when the sheriff’s department had to rescue a group our canoeing they told the RD no way.  So the course was changed to an out and back format.  85% of the course (if not more) was held on ATV dirt trails.  A good portion of the course was on sand which wasn’t much fun once the sun came out on the way back to the finish.  There were a few miles on large two lane gravel roads with I’d say a total of 3 miles maximum of single track.  There were no major climbs and the course was overall very runnable.  Probably perfect for one of you out there looking for a 50k PR.

Anyways on to my race and my lessons learned.  I started the race running with Todd which was fun to have some company on the first leg of the race.  He’d rattle off mile times (markers were placed every mile) and every time I would think “I need to slow down.”  Well I never did and I paid dearly for it.  The first half was uneventful and everything felt great aside from the horse flies.  I think we came in to the turnaround at 2:24ish so around a 9:30/mile pace.

We turned around and I kept up with Todd until we hit the small stream crossing in the short section of single track the race had.  I stopped quickly to splash some water on my face then kept moving.  I didn’t see Todd again until the finish.  I kept cruising along nicely feeling ok until the aid station with 11ish miles to go in the race.  I was running a lot slower than earlier but still feeling fine and moving well.  The same continued until I got to the 8 mile to go aid station.  It was here that I started to hurt pretty bad.  I made sure to have a GU while there then kept moving after sitting down for a little bit in their chair.  I left once I caught the smell of the dead rotting deer not 30 feet from the aid station.

From here we started the longest and most exposed section without aid of the race.  I shuffled out still feeling like crap and shortly after this station is when Jodie came flying by looking great.  Shortly after she passed by my legs finally came back to life and I was able to run again.  It was starting to get warmer and the last 2 (or 3) miles of this section are in the open in the sand.  This was very uncomfortable and I killed the rest of my water very quickly.  (I should note: I was running the whole race with my handheld bottle and had worked great up until this point.  I would literally run out of water as we would round the corner for each aid station.)  I ran out of water with about a mile left of this section and I was struggling pretty hard with my dehydrated state.  I didn’t run any of the section when I didn’t have water as I thought I would keel over if I did. 

I pulled into the last aid station with 3.5 miles left to go and got my bottle filled and promptly sat down in a chair.  I felt like hell and wanted at least time off my feet.  I pulled out a GU and was so repulsed by the thought of it that I stuffed it back in my pocket.  I finished off the whole bottle in my chair and got a refill before I headed out (I think this was a bad idea). 

Now this was the start of my death march.  I tried to run but kept feeling worse and worse.  Marcell caught up and passed me after about half a mile (he was looking great and moving fast) when I was feeling the most nauseous of the march.  Shortly after he kept going I had a few dry heaves thrown in just for good measure.  I contemplated walking back to the aid station to drop but figured that I might as well trudge back to the finish.  It took 50 minutes to go those 3 miles but I finally made it back.  This wasn’t a very large race so even with my 5:59 I took 3rd in my age group which netted me a bottle of maple syrup.

In the end it was a great time, with great friends, an awesome little cabin, a tough race (my fault) and a very mediocre course.

Lessons learned?

·      *   Fearless leader Todd Egnarski is much faster than I am and a much better ultra runner.  Don’t run the first half of a race with him and think you’ll survive.

·      *   Eat more than just GU’s.  The past two races I’ve run were fully GU-supported and I couldn’t choke them down by the end of either one.  Get some real food or some shot bloks in me to supplement.

·      *   No matter how thirsty you are: don’t drink an entire 20oz of fluid at an aid station.  I’m fairly certain this is what caused my stomach issues.

·       *  After only my 3rd ultra and first not on the Superior Hiking Trail, I’ve realized I still have a lot to learn about how to run.

·       *   And lastly, even a crappy race with a poor race plan can still be a great time with the LPTR crew.

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